NBA Betting Preview & Best Bets: Wed., March 2

Cameron Johnson of the Phoenix Suns

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Welcome to another edition of NBA Best Bets!

Jaylen Brown sprained his ankle in the first few minutes of last night's game, ruining yesterday's SGP. Tonight, we will shift our focus to mostly Western Conference matchups, and specifically, the second game of ESPN's Wednesday night NBA coverage, featuring the Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns.

Best Bets Of The Night

Game 1: Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets -14.5

While the Nuggets should win this game comfortably, they would need to win by 15+ points to cover the spread. This is a very high point spread, meaning that if OKC loses by 14 points, the Thunder would still cover. It seems like a value bet for tonight’s slate of games. The Nuggets win by 10, but you bet on OKC to cover the spread for -110 odds and seal the deal.

Bet: Oklahoma City Thunder +14.5 (-110)

Game 2: Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns

This is the risky bet of the night but I’m going to take it. The Portland Trail Blazers are a team that frequently pulls off upsets. Despite the absence of Damian Lillard and now CJ McCollum, the Blazers have been able to maintain a decent record this season. While Phoenix should win this game, the +480 odds are pretty nice for a 25-36 team, especially since the Suns have lost their last two games in a row following the injury of superstar point guard Chris Paul. Even though the Suns can afford to lose a handful of games, they have lost the last two after winning eight straight. Portland has also lost their last two contests, but the odds for this game make it the worthwhile yet risky bet of the night.

Bet: Portland Trail Blazers ML +480

Same Game Parlay Of The Night

We're going back to a three-leg Same Game Parlay for tonight's player props for Portland at Phoenix. Without CP3 in the Suns' rotation, Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges are seeing an increased role. Let's dive in.

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Game: Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns

Leg 1: Josh Hart Over 16.5 Points

Josh Hart was one of the main acquisitions made by Portland in exchange for McCollum. He was immediately thrown into the Blazers' rotation upon arrival and has looked really good in red and black. In his first five games for Portland, Hart has played at least 27 minutes in each contest. He scored 23, 27, 22, 12, and 11 points in each of his first five games for the Blazers respectively. What really stands out about Hart though is his conversion rate from the field (54 FG%) and his scoring (19.0 PPG). He’s a very efficient shooter who the Blazers are making good use of. His Over/Under for points tonight is fairly low because of his last two games. Josh Hart bounces back and scores 20+ tonight against the Suns.

Leg 2: Mikal Bridges Over 4.5 Rebounds

Bridges is an important part of the Suns' frontcourt and really has branded himself as a complete player, able to defend and score. He’ll be going up against his fellow Villanova teammate, Josh Hart, who might even be his main matchup. Bridges is averaging 4.4 rebounds per game but has recorded 5+ rebounds in four of his last five contests. He’s playing an impressive 34.9 minutes per game this season and has even seen somewhat of an uptick in minutes since CP3 was sidelined. He’s played 38 minutes or more in three of the last four games. As a result, he has a better chance to surpass his season average of 4.4 rebounds per game and will record at least five tonight. He is more physical and a more gifted athlete than Hart and Justise Winslow, his two most likely primary defenders tonight.

Leg 3: Cameron Johnson Over 17.5 Points

Cameron Johnson’s role on the Suns was immediately increased once Chris Paul went out, paving the way for the third-year man out of UNC to step up in the Suns' rotation. Over the last four games, Johnson has played at least 29 minutes and scored a minimum of 14 points in each contest. This includes 21 points (7-12 FG) on Feb. 24 and 23 points (7-11 FG) on Feb. 27. He’s shooting a very respectable 46.5% from the field (43.2% from beyond the arc) and is playing closer to 30+ MPG with CP3 out as opposed to his season average of 26.3 MPG. Cameron Johnson at 6’8" should have a size advantage as well on whoever is guarding him against the three-point line tonight.

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